First, let me start this entry by saying that there are a lot of discouraging and dishonest videos and websites out there that berate college. I'm sure there's a few that have been scared away by these. Let me start by saying, first and foremost, that a college promises nothing more to you than an education. If you EXPECT a six figure salary straight away with no experience and an art degree, you deserve to be making nothing. Yes, a college degree can make you more money than others, but it's all in how much you apply yourself, how you market yourself, and What clubs and extra activities you're in, as well as who you know. Also, these videos love to offer a lot of bullshit stats and try to play them off as fact. My favorites so far have been, "For every million you make, 80% goes to paying back your student loans." This is so far from reality it's sad. One percent of a million is 100,000. Do the math for 80. There's no way. In almost every video and website you see, watch, etc, it states that the "majority of Americans" have degrees which renders them "useless." According to http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/st
As far as college life goes, and to those of you who are about to start, there are a LOT of people, no matter what situation you're in, who are in your exact situation. I thought I was the only 24 year old going back to school. That's not the case. At all. If you're 18 and straight out of high school, you're golden! 19 and took a year off? Covered. 50 and going back for kicks? Yup, they're there too. Another great aspect of college is that you get a chance to meet a LOT of people. Introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. You'll be amazed at who you meet, who you become friends with, who is actually really intelligent, etc. Expand your "circle." You will make friends. And I can't stress this part enough, I know you've heard it a million times, but it is SOOOO true... You are not who you were in high school. This IS a new start. Be who YOU WANT to be. Want to be cool and popular now? Do it! Want to be smart now? You ARE in college. Want to be the player? Who doesn't? You have every opportunity to do this. Also keep in mind that your college years are more than likely the last few years where you will be constantly surrounded by new people in an environment where it's this easy to make new friends. Make the most of it.
When it comes to registering for classes, DO NOT forget: Rate My Professors. It will save you from a lot of really bad ones. I wouldn't recommend signing up for classes where the teacher "will be announced" either. Chances are you'll end up like me in my math class. I'll touch on this in a minute. The first thing you should do after choosing a major is finding the catalog for your course and seeing which classes you HAVE to take for your major. Keep an eye on how many credits you need in each area. Some majors require you have 16 hours worth of social science, some only require three. Why take a million sciences you don't need (unless you're weird like that and enjoy science)?
The professors MAKE the class. I can't stress this enough either. As far as the "to be announced" goes, this is how my math class is. I have an instructor who is a high school geometry teacher teaching beginning algebra. I was extremely good with algebra back in high school... I am failing this class. Lets put it this way, the first test she gave us, the ENTIRE class failed. I don't mean like half of us. I don't mean there were a few C's. I mean all 25 people in this class failed the first test. Every test since (which she then changed to multiple choice) has "averaged" a low C. How? She isn't a very good teacher, lets just leave it at that. On the other hand, I'm also taking psychology. I have NEVER been good with science. Actually, I've always failed science. I'm passing this class. The instructor makes it what it is. She's crazy and gets the class involved with the topics. Plus, I wouldn't know anywhere near as much about the brain as I do now. Did you know it takes an hour for your brain to prepare for a dream and that a dream only lasts about 30 mins? And this cycle repeats constantly throughout the night. There are, of course, classes that have a great professor that will never be interesting (right philosophy?). Take recommendations, use the internet, introduce yourself to new teachers, etc. I actually met my next math teacher at my job.
Activities! There are many. ESPECIALLY if you live on a university campus. Take advantage of these. They are there for you. Never tried Frisbee golf? Why not? Never played chess? No excuses now. Been wanting to learn tennis? We have courts for that. Love MMA, yup... There's classes for it. Yoga? Yup. Baseball? Yup. And this is just what my school offers. Not to mention the vast amounts of clubs. I'll be joining S.I.F.E. (Students In Free Enterprise) come the fall. Take advantage of as much as you can. You never know when the person you're meeting will be your connection to that nice office job after college. If you qualify, sign up for the honor society. My friends graduated with a bachelor's in the honors program and got their master's degree paid for. In full.
Also, know how far you want to go, and go there. No more excuses. This isn't high school where you're forced to go through a certain course. If you want to be a nurse, make it happen. Want to be a lawyer? Make it happen. MAKE it happen. This is up to YOU. And don't let anyone talk you down or tell you otherwise. If you want a liberal arts degree, who the fuck is anyone else to tell you not to get it? What can you do with it? Uh, for one thing, you can teach liberal arts... If it's a subject you enjoy that much, and you end up teaching it, it means you're doing something you love for a living... Something most detractors aren't. It is also important, however, to take a marketing class if you're going to go for the harder to sell degrees. Learn how to market yourself. It will help you along the way.
Now just some random tips as I feel like this entry is dragging: Sign up for classes on the first day you possibly can. This is when the most spots are open and the most classes are available. Make friends in your classes. You never know when you might need them for notes or to form a study group. Find a teacher you like, and excel at that class. It'll be important when you need a letter of recommendation. Look for internships as soon as possible. It'll help you when you're required to get one. If you have a job, make sure they know you're going back to school. If they're not cooperative, tell them to fuck themselves. I'd honestly suggest quitting your job if you have one. You'll quickly find out that working and going to school do not mix. Last, but certainly not least, anyone who claims they go to school full time and work full time, yeah, they're full of shit.
Until next time kids. Remember, this is cross posted on campus_l1fe and boring_people.